Keep Calm and Carry on Crafting!

Keep Calm and Carry on Crafting!

Hi there.

Hope you’re okay. Spoke to a friend on the phone who is self-isolating this morning. No no no. He’s not self-isolating this morning! I spoke to him this morning! The English language is a minefield, innit!

He’s a journalist, so he’s has been in contact with people who have been in contact with – and so on. He said we – you and I – are lucky that we have our crafting, that we have our art. He said that our Clarity Community would be a lifesaver for those of us who have to go into hibernation to stay safe.

So on that brighter note, here’s a project I showed you yesterday, to get your teeth into. If you haven’t got a Gelpress, if you’ve fancied learning how to get to grips with one, but haven’t found the time, now would be a good time. Get the 8×10 and we will give you the 9×11 Megamount as a gift.

Right. Here goes. Get all your stash ready first. You need the following ingredients:

The Queen Anne’s Lace Stencil

The 8×10 Gel Press with FREE Mega Mount worth £14.99

Alcohol Inks Black Mustard Meadow

Yellow daubers Sponge Applicators

Alcohol blending solution in a spritzer

Chromo Card

White Acrylic paint

Speedball Brayer

8.5 x 11 Clarity Stencil Card

Frame mounts 12×12

Kraftcard card blanks

Copy Paper

A die cutting machine. I like/we sell the Gemini

Right. Now we’ve got everything handy, let’s get started. This is a very cool trick and you get two for one!

Lay the Gel Press on the Megamount, and the stencil on the Gel Press

Dab black Alcohol ink on the Gel Press and the stencil, then Mustard with another dyellow dauber, then pick a green. I went with Meadow. I have never used black alcohol ink, so I wanted to see what happens…

Once the ink has dried, peel the stencil off the Gel Press.

Get your Die cutting machine ready. You need a rubber shim inderneath the card if you want to emboss it. This is the plate sandwich I make, from the base up:

Outer plate, 
rubber shim,
poly bag,
chromo card,
stencil ink facing down,
sheet of copy paper,
frosted plate,
Other outer plate.

Spritz the glossy Chromo card well with Blending solution. Quickly lay the inky stencil face down on the spritzed Chromo card, complate your plate sandwich and whizz it through the machine quickly. Speed is of the essence here.

Fantastic result though.

Now for Part 2. Back to the Gel Press plate. The ink will be bone dry by now. Touch it. Blimey! Look at how dried out my skin is! That’s all the cleaning!! I took my rings off this morning too. The soap was causing a rash underneath the rings. Gordon Bennett!

Squirt some white acrylic onto a sheet of copy paper, roll it out with a brayer and then cover the inky image on the Gel Press. This is the trick: to figure out how much paint you need and how quickly it dries. If you use too much paint, you won’t pull the colour print. If you don’t use enough, you won’t pull a colour print. The trick is to cover the whole area quite quickly with paint, then start removing any excess paint with the roller by rolling it off onto scrap paper, until you can see the image just peeping through the white paint. See here?

When you think it is just right (this, like most things, comes with experience), flip the plate over onto the white stencil card and press down.

Flip the plate back and rub the back of the white card with your palm and then peel the card off the GelpPress – to reveal your beautiful mono print!

Check out the black ink!! Fantastic! Look how it has blending with the yellow and the green! That’s my lesson for today. What’s yours?

So here are my two prints. A positive and a negative.

Trimmed and framed. Makes a great wall feature.

A gift and a card. To be put away for when I need a gift and a card.

Now wash your hands, keep calm, keep clean – a keep crafting!!!

Love and hugs,

Barb xxx

22 thoughts on “Keep Calm and Carry on Crafting!

  1. That is me sorted for this afternoon. We have made our plan this morning to get through this. If we do as we say the house and garden will look great. Got to keep motivated to keep spirits up. Thanks Barbara. X

    1. Hi Lynne, Yes, us too have been talking about what we can do, I’ll be able to go out so I’ve volunteered to get the paint ! X

  2. Just finished my third project of the day to go with the two from yesterday. Now it’s time to prepare my salads for work this week, empty the dish washer and do the last load of washing. Once I’ve changed the bed and had a shower I will get into my PJs and catch up with some TV. If schools do close early for Easter I have plenty to keep me occupied. Have a good day.

  3. Doing the final stretch of our drive home today. Quite anxious that our b&b sale might fall through because of coronavirus, and even more anxious about my dad refusing to let me sort out on-line shopping for them. Can’t just pop in with staples when I’m 600 miles away and my brother is in Spain!!! Hopefully my nephews will step into the breach x

  4. Brilliant blog. Must pluck up courage to use gel press. Maybe have a go and make myself a birthday present. Plans to celebrate cancelled. Spring cleaning and allotment beckon. Rather be crafting in the warmth. Good wishes to all. Keep calm don’t panic Mr Mainwaring!

  5. Thanks for this inspiring blog. I haven’t used the gel plates as much as I ought but with this shut down I will have to do more.
    Coronavirus has now got to Norfolk, the last county to be affected. My home hairdresser visited the hospital in Kings Lynn last week and only told me about it on Friday. I am scared witless that hubby, who has heart, liver and lung problems, will be affected in any way. I have been through the whole house this weekend disinfecting everything I can and washing what I can’t. I’m exhausted. Am going to spend the next few days stamping and colouring then back to Grooving. Have stocked up on reading material and hubby has a new laptop to play with so looks like we are good for a few weeks.
    Take care everyone – we will get through this.
    Love to all, 🍒🍒🍒

    1. Sussed why all the toilet rolls and kitchen rolls are being grabbed. They are cheaper than tissues for blowing your nose !! 7am at Morrisons yesterday the car park was packed and some people were stacking their trolleys high. Tinned food shelves were heavily depleted. What are they going to do with it all? Wonder how much perishable food will be thrown away as out of date? After all we can only eat so much!!!
      Please people, be sensible and only buy what you need.

  6. Hi Barb, Thank you for trying to keep us going. Lovely artwork as always.

    I’ve not managed to rise above this pandemic at all, it’s sucked me right down, and not only does my head not know what do to with what I am seeing on telly, and reading, I can’t grasp it at all, what is happening, and about to hit us in the UK. It’s too huge a reality. My head is desperately trying to do something with all this stuff that I sit staring at the telly endlessly aghast at what I am seeing and hearing. I literally can’t focus on anything else, no matter how hard I try. I’m not sleeping either. It’s all taking it’s toll on my cfs, and at a time when I need to be in the best place possible, in case I get the virus.

    I’m also so scared about what is going to happen to me. All this panic buying, and clearing out the delivery slots. What about folk like me who are totally dependent on food being delivered to my door, no other option…! I’m also so scared about a time in the not too distant future when I won’t have my volunteer. He is literally all I have, since all these years of Tory austerity cuts has meant society turning their back on me, no help and no support. My volunteer is an asthmatic and therefore also in an at risk group. I will literally have no one once he needs to isolate himself.

    I am also about to self isolate myself totally, to protect myself. No face to face contact with anyone, and delivery drivers keeping their distance. I don’t have anyone else, literally. These people are my only interactions with real human beings, literally.

    I am not saying any of this for anyone to feel sorry for me or anything. No, defo not. I just wanted to put it out there what some of us, the most vulnerable in society, are having to face. I’m speaking out for those of you who may be reading this, in a similar position to myself. You are not alone, there are others facing the same. And, as always, we’ll just quietly do our best with yet one more horrendous situation we’ve been put in in life.

    This here blog of Barb’s will be far more of a lifeline to some of us than the majority of you can even start to imagine.

    So, come on everyone. All you silent readers, and all you who only comment occasionally. And especially, all you who are silently struggling through as best you can. Come on in and join us. Lets see you all say hi, and join in. Lets collectively help those of us in most need through this with everyone’s virtual support and companionship.

    Barb will supply us with the arty, crafty entertaining and challenges etc. Lets us all help her out and do our bit to entertain, and lift the spirits of those of us who are at the lowest depths. I’m not doubting that this is going to be one long haul, and that most of us will sink at one point or another. Lets get it all going strong now, and work to keep it going, for all our sakes.

    I’ll start the ball rolling. This washing your hands for 20 seconds frequently. And if you are like me and suffer from OCD, that pretty much is for 20 seconds every minute or two after a delivery or mail coming in…!!! None of this happy birthday x 2 rubbish, bet you’re all bored of that eh! So, what is everyone singing while washing their hands? What can you come up with to make the endless hand washing something to smile about?

    So far, I’ve worked out,
    Billy Connolly’s – if it wasnae fir yer wellies, chorus and first verse is well over the 20 seconds.
    The first verse of Oh flower of Scotland is also over the 20 seconds, which for us Scots is like a going into battle song, which is quite appropriate, I think.

    So c’mon everyone, your homework is to work out new songs we can all sing to cheer us up while washing our hands. Maybe we can pick one every few days or something, that we all sing, to make us all feel not so isolated and scared.

    Hope you’ve had a good Sunday Barb, love you xxx

    1. What an amazing lady you are Brenda and how well you write. I agree totally about everyone joining in if possible, as the contact could make or break the isolation for people during this crisis.
      I do try to comment as often as possible and will make more of an effort now.
      I do hope that there are people in your area who are able to help you in some way. I know that I would try if you were not so far away.
      I look forward to continuing to read your lovely posts.Take care dear lady. Sending you a virtual hug. Annette X

    2. I thought maybe Rule Brittania or Land of Hope and Glory or even Onward Christian Solders, what do you think Brenda? Try not to watch the news so often if it upsets you Brenda. The news is so depressing at the moment. You need to try to craft to take your mind off things, groovi usually helps me. I know it’s easy to say and harder to do. We all have to try to help each other with some positivity to keep us going. You take

    3. So sorry to hear this Brenda. I am reading about volunteer groups setting up around the country so I do t know if you are on Facebook but might be worth checking to see if there is one in your area. My husband (although he won’t be able to once he turns 70 next month) is checking on the older people he knows from his dog walk route to see if we can help at all. Thank you for reminding me of If it wasn’t for your wellies, it cheered me up no end. At least we can we you as you suggest craftalong with Barbara’s blog. Take care of yourself xx

  7. So it was embossed! I didn’t work that one out!! I think I’ll give that a try over the next few days. I think I’ve only used the gel press once and it was a disaster but I don’t think I let one layer dry before putting on the next. Now I know. I’m busy now trying to work out how we can support everyone in the community, or at least those who need it, over the next wee while. I’m going to be getting to grips with our website and FB page and just trying to find ways of keeping in touch with people who have had to self isolate either because they are unwell or simply because they are over 70. Anyway, stay safe. Hope Steve got the desks moved! Lol. Till tomorrow. Hx

  8. What a lifeline Clarity is going to be for so many people in the coming months! For all of us unable to go out, this lovely community will provide daily contact, positivity and hopefully one smiles to brighten our days.
    As I have a bad cold, I am unable to go to the East Northants Groovi Group tomorrow and I am gutted, as I so look forward to it. Also, it is likely to be the last one for a while if everyone over 70 is forced to stay at home. However, I have received lots of lovely messages from other members and I know that we will all continue to support each other in the months ahead.
    Sending well wishes to you and everyone who reads this. Hugs. Annette X

  9. Great instructions. I don’t have that stencil but I do have some similar that’ll work, I’m sure. I couldn’t find the black alcohol ink -looked all through, so maybe dabbing archival pad would work? Have other colours. One thing about the enforced isolation is the chance to play at all the techniques we’ve been meaning to try!! I’ve been making a list….
    Sorry Brenda is feeling so bad. My friend and I are also in the vulnerable groups due to age and lung disease, but having no problems shopping online (so far!) and popping to local farm for veg and eggs. Also take dogs out in the woods (non-one else around) for some fresh air. Brenda dear, do try to see the positives in staying in -there are loads of them. I dohope you can rise above the problem as it’s not going anywhere for some time. BTW I just time 20 sec on my clock!! No singing.

  10. Hi Brenda , I’m one of those who read but don’t always post a message .I live in Dublin and it seems as if we are very close to lock down all but essential services here..It can’t be easy for you and I am sorry to hear you feel very alone and scared.I wonder is there a way for us in the Clarity community to send each other little cards to say hello I am thinking of you today ?As you know I am not very technical and still use snail mail to send cards etc;I am lucky to have family close by but I know not everyone does .Today I had time for making cards and playing with my inks.My stress levels are lower as a result and I enjoyed making cards I will give to family and friends that think I’m very creative .Sometimes I feel a fraud because Clarity products and ideas make me look good !I am due to have a dental appointment tomorrow to fix my crown on my front tooth which broke .Don’t know if that will go ahead or not .,but sure as I crafted I forgot about my teeth .If We have to stay isolated its a small price to pay for protecting others every life is precious .Warm regards Carmel

  11. Thank you for that super step by step Barbara. Must get my gel press out for a play. Thank God we all have our craft to help us through along with your blog full of inspiration, we do have to try to keep each other positive. So pleased we had new iPhones at Christmas so we can facetime our kids and them us. It’ll make all the difference if we have to self

  12. I live in the US and in our area the schools and pubic buildings are now being shut down. We just had our first confirmed case in our county too. One piece of good news I’ve read is that the number of new cases in China is plummeting.
    I’ve been spending every free moment crafting. It’s great to have something to focus on besides the news. Going to break out the gel plate and play. I’ve got lots of used copy paper from work and cheap acrylic paints I got on clearance, so even if I make mud, it’s not a great loss. I just need the distraction.
    Many thanks Barbara for making your blog a positive to visit, especially now.

  13. Let’s all try and stay positive over the next few weeks/months.
    I am someone who is very comfortable in my own space and really don’t mind spending time at home. So if I do need to self isolate it won’t be difficult for me. But I know many people do find the thought of it daunting to say the least.
    If you feel lonely then reach out on here or on Facebook and I’m sure that you’ll find something to lift your spirits.
    Just think of all those unfinished projects that you can complete… And who knows I may make a start on my Christmas cards!
    Stay safe everyone.
    Love to you and Dave Xxxx

  14. Hello Barb, A really brilliant step by step, one to try. Hope you had a good weekend and relaxed a bit too. Take care all. Bx

  15. Thank you for the step by step. I’m definitely going to give it a go! Now picture this. Aldi yesterday morning at opening time and we are queuing from the door. Everyone has trolleys because they are going to buy AS MANY ITEMS AS POSSIBLE then noooo, someone drops a jar of something which requires a major clean up. It’s suddenly like a motorway in rush hour, people are pushing, pushing, pushing, edging forward with their trolleys. I was stood at the back with a little basket and men pushed by me to gain a few extra feet! Everyone was getting more and more frustrated then someone shouted at the poor people trying to clear up the mess and said they should open a lane (obviously thinking they were on a motorway!)😂. Me – as I just had a basket I scooted round and went through the tills, grabbed the few essentials I couldn’t get the day before because the shelves were empty and was out in a flash. I witnessed an argument between an assistant and a lady when he challenged her over the amount of toilet rolls in her basket. Just what is happening🤦‍♀️. Just as well we have crafting to keep us calm.

  16. I know a lot of you out there are worried, but look at the positives for a moment, for those of us who are very active in the community and also at the top end of the 70’s but are also crafty, it is chance to craft to your heart’s content and not feel guilty that you are not attending meetingS, lent groups, keep fit, running a friends group, preaching on. Sunday.
    Warmer weather is on its way, so a chance to kick back , sit in the garden and enjoy it. Walks are not out of the question, you can still talk to your
    Neighbour over the fence, check that they are o.k.An enforced rest for some of us could be welcome.
    I help at the local Food bank, that to me is essential, but I will take all the precautions that are necessary, including endless cups of hot beverage. Let,s be as positive as poss. Minimise the risks and enjoy the break. Turn it on it’s head people!!

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